Fak’ugesi Festival Returns To Johannesburg

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The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will return to Johannesburg this month to explore and celebrate technology and creativity by Africans for Africa.

This year, the Fak’ugesi Festival has partnered with the City of Johannesburg’s Smart Cities Office to bring exciting African-centric programming to the 2019 festival line up.

The partnership highlights the importance of identifying local solutions for local problems.

The strategic partnership between the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival and the City of Johannesburg’s Smart Cities Office will see the establishment of incubation support for prototypes and new developments from three exciting Fak’ugesi Festival initiatives including:

Blockchain Hack-a-thon for Creative Industries

In a collaboration between Fak’ugesi Festival, Animation SA and the City of Johannesburg, a brains trust and hack-a-thon will propose and porotype a new blockchain solution to support South African culture and technology.

Cross-Sector Game Jam

A special focus at Fak’ugesi Festival 2019 that looks at how to bolster and support work across digital creatives sectors into gaming and gamification, music, user experience design, animation and screenwriting.

This game-jam is set to change the way the local digital industry works. The City of Johannesburg is proud to lend its support to this initiative as Joburg grows as a centre of creative work on the African continent.

SuperPower! Johannesburg

Working with UK-based Singaporean architect and technologist, Ling Tan, is a hands-on development workshop focusing on wearable technology and citizen data collection.

Tan will be working with UJ Industrial Design students to explore how wearable technology can be used to help citizens and communities in need.

The technology will collect data about their environments and quality of life and it will be shared with government institutions and research organisations like the Gauteng City-Region Observatory.

Special Exhibitions

Over and above these three key initiatives, the Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will also host a series of special exhibitions that speak to the concerns of the Smart City.

The first is a poster exhibition by UJ Multimedia students that address speculative design for African Smart Cities.

The second is a series of four films by acclaimed young South African artists Franois Knotze on the effects of eWaste on cultures and societies in Africa.

MMC for Finance, Counsellor Funzela Ngobeni, says the City’s Smart City objectives will become evident as, through its core departments, the city begins to transition to more innovative and efficient means of engaging our citizens.

“The City has to implement new ways of engaging and solving problems for its ever-growing population and improving the efficiency and reliability of citizen interface with the City. While solutions may not always be technological, they will always be innovative and Smart.”

The Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival was founded in 2014 as a collaboration between the Tshimologong and the Wits School of Arts’ Digital Arts Department.

Proudly African Solutions

Commenting on the City’s collaboration with the festival Lawrence Boya, Head of the Smart City Office, notes that the City seeks to work with Tshimologong, and the talented ideas identified during the Fak’ugesi Festival.

“The aim of the Smart City Office is to support five individuals who come up with solutions relevant to the challenges faced by the City of Johannesburg, as a municipality or as a collective of citizens.

“We hope to see solutions that are not common in Europe, the US or even China, which address African or specific South Africa problems. Something unique to our Nation or City.” 

Tshimologong, in the youthful and dynamic heart of Johannesburg in Braamfontein, will once again host this year’s inspiring Festival line up and will also be the home of future digital solutions as proudly supported by the City of Johannesburg.

The festival, which will run from 30 August to 8 September 2019,

 

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